Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies. Harnessing the Safe System Approach to Improve Traffic Safety

The Safe System (SS) approach is a holistic and comprehensive approach for addressing traffic safety for all road users, considering the elements of safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and post‐crash care. While state departments of transportations (DOTs) primarily focus on transportation infrastructure, the SS approach considers a shared responsibility among all transportation agencies and road users. State DOTs currently collaborate with a number of organizational stakeholders outside the highway and road infrastructure disciplines, such as planners, public safety officials, industry and professional organizations, academia, and advocacy groups. The SS approach involves all stakeholders considering the SS elements as a whole during the decision-making process, creating overlap that can help protect all users. To fully realize the benefits of each SS element, state DOTs must have the tools and mindset to effect the paradigm of change. This leadership awareness and buy-in will be critical to infuse SS practices throughout state DOT functions and the infrastructure project lifecycle. Well-articulated benefits of the SS approach and practical suggestions for implementation will ease the burden of SS implementation among state DOTs. Lastly, effective means of communicating SS benefits and successes to all stakeholders will be a significant contributor to the durability of an SS-oriented culture. The objectives of this research are to (1) raise awareness among transportation agency leadership of the benefits of the SS approach, and (2) develop a toolkit of materials to implement, sustain, and institutionalize the SS approach throughout the stages of the infrastructure project lifecycle.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $600000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-24(145)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Turner, Anne-Marie

  • Performing Organizations:

    Burgess & Niple, Inc.

    5085 Reed Rd.
    Columbus, OH  United States  43220
  • Principal Investigators:

    Schenk, Kendra

  • Start Date: 20240701
  • Expected Completion Date: 20260630
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01863192
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-24(145)
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 1 2022 6:28AM